A new research paper has highlighted how financial institutions can provide better support to those affected by economic and financial abuse through intimate partner relationships.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), in partnership with the Gendered Violence Research Network at the University of New South Wales, released the document to shed light on the prevalence, definition and impact of economic abuse and financial.
To help financial institutions better deal with the problem, the first document (in a six-part series), titled Understanding the economic and financial abuses in relationships between intimate partners, defined the key areas to consider when analyzing customer support measures.
- Examine how victims and survivors of economic and financial exploitation can benefit from suitable financial products;
- Establish a team specialized in domestic and family violence (DFV) to assess the potential for misuse of products and procedures by perpetrators to control and mistreat their partner in a coercive manner;
- Provide specialized DFV teams with training to identify links between economic and financial exploitation and other forms of intimate partner violence, as well as tactics of economic and financial exploitation that can be used in the end relationships ; and
- Financial institutions could provide content through a youth education program to further develop and support financial capacity and financial management.
Commenting on the research paper, CBA Group leader Sian Lewis said: “Financial abuse is a hidden epidemic affecting thousands of Australians who experience domestic violence.
“Yet academic evidence on the issue is limited, making it difficult to develop and provide effective support to those affected. The purpose of this research series is to improve our understanding of the problem so that we as a bank and as a society can improve our responses and support. “
In addition, the document revealed a lack of consistency in the definition of financial and economic abuse, which it says are often used interchangeably. This has posed challenges for services and policy makers to effectively measure and appropriately address the different but related issues.
The document therefore expanded the number of categories that include economic and financial exploitation to include “economic and financial manipulation” and “economic and financial entanglement,” in addition to the traditional categories of “economic and financial control,” ” economic and financial exploitation ”and“ economic sabotage ”.
Commenting on the research, Jan Breckenridge, author and professor and co-facilitator of the UNSW Gender-Based Violence Research Network, said: “Our research distinguishes financial abuse as being specifically related to money and finances.
“While economic abuse – while involving similar abuse patterns – refers more broadly to the impact on resources, such as transportation, a place to live, employment and education more broadly. Without a clear and consistent definition, we cannot accurately measure economic and financial abuse, nor accurately create the right services and systems needed to support those affected.
Ms Lewis said: “It was nice to see that many areas of focus already align with the work the CBA has undertaken through our Next Chapter program. As we continue to evolve and improve our services and support for those affected by economic and financial abuse, this document will be a valuable source of information. “
Malavika Santhebennur is the Mortgage Securities Editor at Momentum Media.
Prior to joining the team in 2019, Malavika held positions at Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for six years.